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Book TV After Words

Cynthia Lowen Education. (2012) 'Bully An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis.' New.

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Us 10, Lorraine Wallace 3, Olean 3, New York City 3, Bob Minzesheimer 2, United States 2, Cynthia Lowen 2, Justin Carrera 1, Stanley Mcchrystal 1, Lee Hirsch 1, Cynthia 1, Ross Perot 1, Boley 1, Ms. Lowen 1, Bisexual 1, Cortex 1, Facebook 1, New York 1, Tyler 1, Russell Wiseman 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV After Words    Cynthia Lowen  Education.  (2012) 'Bully An Action Plan for  
   Teachers, Parents and Communities to Combat the Bullying...  

    December 15, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00pm EST  

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scientology, hollywood and a prison of belief and bob minzesheimer is looking forward to ross perot and all gore, and should point* out to general stanley mcchrystal has a book my share of the task and exchange line coronary disease. teeeighteen and bob minzesheimer we appreciate your time today.
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. . almost nine years later she has a book and i'm still on the show. >> 100 chicken recipes with 50 vegetarian and you know i said i have to -- and what i've learned is chicken is the most fertile -- versatile ingredient you can use in the kitchen. you can do anything to it.
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you can bake it, rustic, barbecue it, just amazing. >> lorraine wallace are these are recipes? >> all of my recipes and they been tried and tested and it's what i love to do. >> i am the tester. i have not cooked any of them but i had eaten everyone. >> it has family stories, family recipes and a family tip that about a. >> can you give us a little background on you two, how long you have been married? >> we have six children and we have been together for 16 years. >> but i have to say if the old-fashioned way. i had four and she had two. >> getting your family around the table and trying to figure out everybody schedule and their needs, including their husband who has 5:00 in the morning get up on sunday. it's amazing, so this great book helps you do that.
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>> what time do you be the chicken on sunday? >> we eat saturday night. >> soup is on sunday. >> hence the night, saturday night chicken. >> you would think i would have caught that. mr. sunday saturday night chicken, lorraine wallace, chris and lorraine wallace thank you very much. >> thank you. >> up next on booktv, "after words" with guest host anti-bullying at david's an action plan for teachers, parents and communities to combat the bullying crisis. this week cynthia lowen and her book "bully." ms. lowen talks about her documentary film and talks about essays from anti-bullying and stopping the epidemic of bullying in the u.s.. >> host: i am so delighted to be here today with cynthia lowen, the producer of the widely acclaimed and really important
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new documentary, "bully" and the coeditor of the book of the same title. both of which, as our nation's 30 little secret about bullying in schools across america. both the movie and the book put a human face on what it's about, how it impacts kids, on both sides and on the sideline, and their families. so thank you so much cynthia for being here today. why don't we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself? how did you get here? how did you get drawn to the issue? y. here, why now? >> guest: i come from a background as a writer and when i was in middle school, i was one of those kids who was really shy. i think i try to sail under the radar and i was someone who -- and i didn't know what to do
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about it. all of us i think in this country were starting to see people coming out in talking about their experience with this phenomenon that so many of us had have experienced in one way or another and have had no word for it other than adolescents, other than growing up. finally, people were starting to stand back and say, hold on, this isn't a normal part of growing up. this is not a normal rite of passage. i think there was a moment where there was a possibility for change and director lee hirsch and i started the film out of that feeling, that voices were bubbling up, coming up to the surface to say, this isn't something we can except anymore as a normal part of our culture. so in 2009, april about month, it was right after to young people took their own lives, justin carrera and carl --
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in springfield massachusetts. both of those tragedies really i think ignited a national recognition of what has been going on for so long and we were seeing parents riding on message boards and we were seeing every new story that came up we would see in the comments section , hundreds of comments from parents saying my child is going through this. kids riding in themselves saying i'm going through this and i feel hopeless and helpless and i don't know what to do. from educators writing in and then saying we don't know how to handle this, we don't have the tools to respond to this and we decided at that time to start meeting the kids and families and educators on the frontline as an issue. >> host: so, what is the difference between teasing and bullying? is everything bad that happens to a kid olean, or is it like a
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global definition of olean that really works? >> guest: yeah, i think we all in our lives tease each other. there are things that are good-natured and teasing as part of our way of communicating with each other. not all bullying, not every fight is a case of bullying. there are instances where there will be conflict, where kids get in fights. there will be violence and that is not necessarinecessarily bullying. it is bullying when the target does not have the ability to make it stop, when it's something that is going on over time, continued abuse, which the endgame is to isolate them, to
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alienate them, to humiliate them and prevent them from being part of the community. >> host: is a leading something something -- bullying something that is mainly just about words? is a just physical? is it a combination? >> guest: today we are seeing that it takes all different kinds of forms. one thing parents often asked me is is bullying worse today than it has ever been before? we have heard a lot about cyberbullying and there's a lot of awareness going around and which bullying is finding new platforms and new ways to take place. well that is absolutely a significant piece of the picture, the good old-fashioned bullying is still quite alive and well. i think it's something that is happening with physical interactions and in the boley we see a child who every time he
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gets on the school bus he is pretty likely to know that he is going to be shoved by someone, he's going to be pushed by someone. he may be pushed out of his seat. he is going to hear things. people are going to call him names and i think that is when things are very prevalent. among girls, it can be ostracization. everyone has decided to throw a party and somehow you are made very aware that you are not invited to this. social exclusion is a big part of it and again on line, passing pictures and spreading rumors. so, i think it takes a lot of different forms. i think what underscore is bullying i think and why it is so hard to work out is that it's about social dynamics. it's about social hierarchies and between kids and adolescents
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that are not particularly middle school that are jockeying for power or they are figuring out how to use their social power. is complicated. the child who may be the most popular person on their sports team may be the same person who is holy clinic it on their boss. so it reflects the social dynamics of the group and the semantics or ice changing so i think that's part of what makes it really not just one thing that we can say and we need to stomp it out wherever we see it. the kids who really are sophisticated in a lot of understanding the dynamics of who has power and who doesn't. >> host: how prevalent is bullying? can you give us some information about like, how likely children generally are to face bullying and also whether there are are
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special populations of kids who are particularly vulnerable? >> guest: absolutely. we know that 13 million kids will people lead in the united states this year. that is a lot of kids. we know that kids who are lgbt are four times more likely to be bullied than other kids. >> host: and that is kids that are transgender, bisexual or perceive to be? >> guest: absolutely. kids don't necessarily have to identify being picked on or harassed for a gender ster. that is another rt of the picture. another population that is very vulnerable our kids with autism. a very high number of kids on the autism spectrum are bullied. often, kids who are at what they call the high functioning
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autism, they are mainstreamed into school so they have great great. they look like everybody else, and yet they have a disability that is invisible and which plays out in the social context of not understanding the behaviors that someone may be doing our olean and are not friendship. >> host: and you describe in the book that kids with special needs, for them bullying is a pandemic. >> guest: absolutely. >> guest: one of the things, kids with autism and kids with learning disabilities and kids with dyslexia, -- talks about going through his
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adolescence and they're being bullying all over the place and it is playing out in different ways in the community but in later life he was dyslexic and a lot of folks now, now that we have a lot more awareness and of looking back on their time of going through middle school and going through high school where they were considered to be stupider not until unsure -- intelligeintellige nt or made fun of for what we now understand as a learning disability. >> host: just to clarify for the viewers, who is joe penciling no? >> guest: he is a well-known actor who was nosed -- most well-known for his role in -- [inaudible] >> host: you mentioned junior high school kids. is there a subset in junior high school that is particularly vulnerable? >> guest: we know about what is happening and what makes such a hotspot for bullying is kids brains are changing.
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literally, their frontal cortex is rearranging. their behaviors are more impulsive. any of us who have been there or who have kids there are there and feel like, my child is turning into a total alien. a lot of emotion, a lot of hormones, just really learning how to process things. what happens in that phase is that you can make a lot of decisions that you look back on later and say gosh, i really didn't think that one through. another thing that is really happening at that point is the influence of peers is becoming more important than the influence of family or parents. so there's a real shift that takes place in who they -- they are important elements are and where they are looking for support. and i think that is what really makes some of the jockeying for
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power and popularity really feel like this kind of almost life or death thing when you're in middle school. if you have been ostracizeostracized, no one invites you to things, can feel like the entire world has turned against you and i think with what we see taking place on line and on the internet, that sense that the entire world knows something about you or has spread a rumor about you or do not like you can really snowball very quickly when messages are being put on facebook or text messages and things like that. >> host: so is it really just like different kids who are perceived as weaker perhaps and different perhaps in whatever way, shape or form it is. i am sure that there is holy that goes on of kids who are perceived as overweight or
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underweight or of one national origin or another. i know here in new york we have several incidents where some sick kids is -- seek kids were targeted by bullying's and physically assaulted so it's about really a way of not coming to terms with differences. is there anything about the families of kids who are bullied that arouse any sort of conclusions to be drawn, or does it cut across all different kinds of things quests. >> guest: while i think families have a picture across the spectrum kids who manifests
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bullying behavior and i think that's one of the things that is really needed when we look at bullying. we can't just focus on what happens in the hours of the kids are in school. there's a huge amount of pressure from educators to address bullying when they see it in their schools. there are laws passed to varying degrees of effectiveness that have really mandated that schools must be aware of this issue and that must be providing special development and we have gotten to a point in a short period of time really since 2009 for a thing school see their responsibility with regards to this issue in a totally different light. that said, i think that bringing it into the fold and working with parents on this remains really typical. i think schools are scared that if they admit that there is a bullying problem, they will be attacked or that they may be
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liable to lawsuits. i think they feel very vulnerable in their ability to say, we have a problem here and we need help. we need tools and we are trying to work on this. so i think that parents of kids can be empowered in a lot of different ways. i think that one of the things is that alex doesn't tell his parents and this is absolutely what happens. parents do not necessarily know what's going on with their kids when they walk onto their bus, when they are at school and i think that often kids will know when their parents are under stress and there is a lot going on at home and parents are busy. you know, the communication isn't great. or even if the communication is great, often kids are ashamed. they are afraid that either
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their parents won't take them seriously or if they do take them seriously that they are going to march into school and do something that's going to make the situation even worse. there are situations where kids don't trust that the adults are going to be able to make their situation better or make it stop without actually making them feel more alienated or making the bullies know that they have bullied in such a way that now it's worse. kids don't want to tell and kids don't often necessarily want to perceive what's going on his bullying. i think that one of the things for parents to -- who suspect their kids might be bullied or any kids is to find ways to talk to their kids about what's going on in school in a way that isn't necessarily saying, are you being bullied? >> host: you raise an interesting point that kind of rolls off the tongue in finding ways to talk to your kid about what's going on in school and to
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identify whether there is bullying or not. but i think that it's probably fair to say that most parents would give their left arm to know how to do that. what kinds of suggestions you have for parents, to help their kids talk to them? >> i think it gets harder as kids get older and very much want independence and they want to be able to handle situations on their own. so i think at a different level the questions in the and the conversations can be more or less direct. i think for kids who are at the younger stages or the end of elementary school, it can be much easier to broach the topic. questions or conversations about you know, who fits in with the group, who was playing with whom? who seems to be ostracized? i think those questions can be answered more direct way for kids who are younger.
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i think when kids get to middle school, it's more roundabout. i think one way of getting a sense of what the social fabric looks like in school is asking questions about? i think kids are fascinated by changing clicks and changing social dynamics, how different roofs identify themselves. i think asking some questions were getting a sense through conversations about what is the social fabric looking like? where do you feel that you fit in? where do you feel like you are not wanted or who are you offended by? >> host: can you give us examples of questions that you think work for kids? we all know that, are you being bullied in school? does not work. >> guest: because they are like no, absolutely not. i think questions around things like drama.
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is their drama going on in group's? do you have a group of kids and you notice that someone is not there? where's janine today? what's going on with her? is everything okay between you two? i think the question, some of the questions i brought up before, how do kids break down? who is wearing what? what do you call the different kids in their group's? how do they identify and what are some of the things that they do together and that they don't do or who is part of that group? similar questions like, who do you sit with at lunch? some kids will be open to answering that, some won't. but i think that those are some ways to get into it. afterschool activities, what are some of the things that are available? what interests you? if your child is interested in
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something and then suddenly seems to be withdrawn from that, i would definitely probe a little further. maybe it's just that their passions or their interests have changed and that happens all the time but maybe it's because the activity has become toxic somehow. >> host: what do you say is the responsibility that all parents -- and we know all parents want to know what goes on at school and all parents have a tough time finding out. that is a given, but the object of finding out what is going on in school and in part to know whether your kid is being hurt, terrorized our bullied? those are i would imagine them important for all parents, whether or not the kids are being bullied, to find out what their kids role is in the social
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fabric. i am sure that there are lots of parents who think their kids are perfectly happy in school and it turns out that they may have, they may be bullied. so, questions like you know, what is the atmosphere like on the schoolbus? what is the school bus like? is it fun or to the people hated? hated? where do you sit on the schoolbus? >> host: that's a great question. >> guest: that i think you will find a lot of kids will say, you didn't go to the back of the schoolbus unless you really wanted to get it. i was at the front of the schoolbus because i was terrified of what was going on back there so i think that's a great question and you learn a lot about what it's like there, by what is going on. where did you sit? where does this seem not really safe and where do you feel safe?
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i also think parents kind of know a lot more about the social dynamics with the groups of kids that will come to their house after school or that they will see on the weekends. i think it's being inched -- involved in your child's life in making sure that they are there for dinner every night. i think family dinners are really important time where it's possible for parents to be there. often it's not possible when parents are working or have other commitments but making that time to make sure that there's a there is a safe place at home, where, even when, i remember when i was in high school, the last thing i wanted to do was to sit down to dinner but i knew that was what we did every night. just that we were going to spend that time together, things come out.
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i think it's important. i think right now there are incredible pressures on families and i think it can be very very difficult to take the time to sit down, put down the iphone, put down the computer and turn the tv off. and i think that that is one way that some of that information and patterns or things that seemed to seem to be out of whack often will arise. >> host: when you were making the documentary, there came a moment of when you took off your filmmaker hat. that was with alex. tell us about that. >> guest: we have been following alex as you know, through the school year and we were aware that he was being bullied on the schoolbus and it was something that was escalating over the course of the school year.
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we had let the school no early in the school year on the very first day that he had been punched on the bus on the right to school and the response was sort of, yeah school buses are pretty rough. they are bad. but not saying -- and as we were witnessing alex getting bullied more severely over the course of the year and as new things were happening, we came to a point where we knew that on the one hand, our responsibility to the film and the partnership with alex who had been going through this for years since elementary school, and the one hand there is a responsibility for the film to say this is what kids are going through. this is what it looks like irk on the other hand the responsibresponsib ility is to alex and his family were the
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school didn't intervene, needing to tell them that the dynamic on the bus is dangerous for him. we decided we had to show them the footage to make sure they knew exactly what we are talking about. >> host: you are top-flight filmmaker but you made the decision to abandon your filmmaker posture and become the responsible bystander that you talk about in the movie and in the book, who can be so important in getting things under control and helping kids not be victimized by bullying. there is one group of people that i just want to ask about quickly, which is school
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resource officers, safety officers. police in schools. they operate with a lot of different hats on. just quickly, before we take a quick break, what roles did they play and are they sometimes part of the problem? >> guest: in our school there was a resource officer two doors down from the assistant principal, who didn't report any of the mis-behavior to the school resource officer. i think the school resource officer in cases of bullying can be a great resource. not that you want to create a record for someone in middle school but you want them to know there are real consequences to this behavior and the consequences only get more real as you get older. so a real liaison between the consequences when kids are younger and our making a decision in and their ability to
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say do you know what, these are not behaviors that i can do. >> host: the response of the adults that are supposed to be there, helping kids, protecting them, respecting them is really critical, isn't it? >> guest: absolutely. >> host: to what happens to these kids. all right, i think we will take a quick break now and we will come back and talk more about some of the solutions to the problem. bullying is, it's probably easier to spot than it is to fix. i think that, if we don't take a comprehensive approach, sometimes we can make things worse by fumbling and our kids are too precious to bumble with, aren't they? we will take a break now and we will be right back.
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>> guest: great, thank you. >> host: so, let's talk a little bit more about the school resource officers and the school safety officers. >> guest: absolutely. i think they can play a really important role in the scenario when they start to see situations where you have text messaging, where bullying is happening over facebook or involving more serious incidents of typical assault. one thing that i think parents find is that, when they have
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tried to resolve the situation through the school or through, if they have gone to this facebook safety page and reported it on facebook and it still continuing, i think that turning to the police for help as something that can be an important step for parents to take. however, i think what often happens is that these incidents are looked at as something that signals to little kids that it's beneath the role of the police department to deal with. i think the -- is they have more important things to deal with. even for school resource officers, often their role is more working with kids who are already in the juvenile justice system ,-com,-com ma to serve as the liaison within the school for things like that are not necessarily dealing with behavioral things as they come
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up. i think that schools can partner with police departments, to work together about investigating cyber bullying. many police departments in the united states now are developing cybercrime unit so that they are quick to say okay, we can figure out where this message came from, with what the address was in the can take your out where they came from. i think that can be a really helpful tool for parents who have gotten to that point where they feel helpless and they have investigated a lot of the alleys that they have in order to resolve the situation and finish it to completion. >> host: so, where you have police officer stationed in schools, for in new york city for example where there are 5000 of them. do you ever hear about how they interact with students and are
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there ever problems and with school safety officers actually serving as bullies themselves? >> guest: i am sure there are instances. you know, there are instances where teachers are found to be bullying students. i think absolutely those things happen and i think we don't want to have officers in our schools schools -- we want officers in our schools in a situation where they are needed to keep kids safe or to provide some kind of helpful direction that helps them resolve things before they get to a point where they are 18 years old and they have a record that can really damage them for life. >> host: how do you inoculate the officers and the teachers for that matter against being part of the problem?
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what is important for them by way of training to ensure that they have the tools and also that they are accountable for protecting the kids and helping them? >> guest: i think it's the same thing, comes down to what happens in the building where all of the adults take allaying seriously and it's about culture. i don't think it's about, we are not going to do these five behaviors as it is bullying. i think it's about looking at the overall picture of what is the culture and the climate in the school and i think one of the things that we know is that strong leadership really starts to top and principals have a great deal of influence over how all the people in their building trade not only the kids fit each other. there are buildings like the school that we saw and "bully"
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where you have a principal that intimate dates those underneath him. what happened in the school was that it was normal for people to feel scared. it was number for people to feel intimidated and because the teachers and even the assistant principal felt at herself, there was not a ton of empathy when they saw it taking place among the kids because it was something that seemed like it and inhabit a part of the social fabric for the school. however when you're in a school where the leadership is very different, where there is a more lateral approach, where people feel safe, where the higher our key is not very stringent and constantly reinforced, there is a lot more opportunity for kids to be protected and there is a lot more opportunity for adults to say i need resources and i need help, need support and get the kinds of tools that they need. so for instance, and alex's
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situation again, his bus driver saw what was going on. we know she's always going on and we know she heard it but she didn't pull over. bus drivers, reset saves and those who serve lunches to the kids are often in the school's hierarchy is kind of the low end of the totem pole. they are not incorporated into the leadership in school and they are not incorporated and supported the way that teachers are as a result of which they don't feel like they can time time out and say stop the bus and deal with it. then what happens when their 15 minutes late to school? so i think that it's about realizing that everyone, not just sro officers, not just teachers, the really big role to play and the often hotspots in schools are those that are looked over by those that are given the least amount of authority and when kids
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recognize that someone isn't being respected by the other adults in the building they don't give people their respective there. >> host: so the hotspots, the cafeteria and maybe the locker room and the school bus, and those are places to watch out for. it's also essential for the school principal to make sure that, not just that the folks who work in those places are accountable for what goes on, but that they have -- that they know they have the opportunity to be heard and the obligation to speak with school leaders about what's going on. that is a really, i think, important point. you know, there are so many
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different players in our society and we are in the issue of olein. why don't you give us a couple of tips? give us a couple of tips that a student can do to reduce the bullying or to respond in a bullying situation quests. >> guest: this is one of the reasons we wanted to create this book. one of the things that we do in the film is, i think we do a good job of making people aware of the extent to which this is happening and that it's a crisis and it's not okay to accept. what we wanted to do with the book was to be a will to provide people a place to go to when you get to that point where you see this and you say okay, we need tools to do this, now what are those tools? so one of the things that a
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number of the contributors to the book talk about are what can you do from various perspectives, from the perspective of a parent, from the perspective of kids who are either wholly or bystanders or bullied themselves and from the perspective of educators? i think one of the things from the kid's perspective is that there is a lot of power in numbers and i think that where you can have the social dynamic, where you are a young person who knows that you have some social cachet in your circle, and your social dynamic, you may feel more comfortable than those around you and you may feel more confident. i think for kids to have that confidence and who know that they are influential among their peers, i think for those kids to be educated about allaying, for them to say, i want to be a school leader and i'm committed.
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one of the contributors to the book talks about the bee brave against bullying initiative and there are wristbands that the american federation of teachers have made available so that any teacher who wants to can get the wristbands on line and they are now playing a visible sign that kids know that there is a person to go to and there is someone who has made a decision to prevent bullying and to respond to it when they see it. i think visible signs like that, not only for teachers and as traders are they really effective but also for young people. there are a number of different kinds of creative things that you can do to make a visible sign and say i am a safe person for you to go to if you are being targeted via bullied.
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>> host: one of the things of educators talk about is how kids like to be confident than they like to be helpful and i was impressed by the story in the book about mike mil group who is the president of -- in new york city when he was teaching. he would identify kids who were at risk and bring them into his classroom and asked his class to support them and work with them. it seemed like kind of a common sense but brilliant approach to making everybody part of the solution and raising all the -- >> guest: absolutely and one of the things we see often are kids who have special needs or learning disabilities are autism, so often the philosophy is to help give those kids tools to not be targeted or to make
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them less likely to be targeted. >> host: like avoiding certain situations? >> guest: yeah, to avoid certain areas and schools that we know kids are vulnerable where there is little supervision but i think that's only one piece. so many disabilities make them more likely to be bullying and are the social disability so i think that one of the things we have to do a better job often i think michael mil group asked i guess he speaks to this, is how do you educate the entire community about disabilities like autism or like learning disability so it's not up to the person who already is struggling to keep up or who is already struggling to navigate the social hierarchies, to make sure that everyone else knows this is what autism looks like and this
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is why kids with autism may respond differently. people with autism might have a tech or behavior that i don't understand but how can we get kids to be more aware of the differences among them and say okay we are going to support this person and not ostracize them or pick on them because they are different and now we understand what's going on. >> host: is in isn't some of this about empathy? talk about that. >> guest: absolutely. i think this is why we wanted to bring that approach to the book. we feel that this is an issue that so many of us know it's going on. we know the numbers are extraordinary, kids who are being bullied but i think what it comes down to is really understanding what it means to have to wake up every day and to know you were going to go to school and to know that you are scared about what's going to
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happen to you there. so many of the people who have not only contributed to the book but people who were in the film have never had the opportunity to tell their story before because either there was no one there to listen or it wasn't recognized as a problem or because they were ashamed or scare. and what we wanted to do in the film was to give people the opportunity to respond to this issue and to move hearts and minds with the power of the story. and i think that is another thing that has been the fact if not only in bullying but really with an empowering kids and helping to build bridges. >> host: so, one of the standard and unhelpful i think responses to, when one child hurts another, including bullying, is say you are sorry.
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what do you think about that? >> guest: right, and we know in most cases someone is told to say they are sorry, they are not sorry that they hurt another person. they are sorry that they got caught, and that is something of course again that we see in the film. >> host: so what is the effective way to bring kids together, to build the understanding that makes the child who has done the bullying understand the impact of what they have done and for there to be a positive outcome? >> guest: by enlarge the kids that are involved in these behaviors are not that kids. they are kids who may have made a bad choice for kids who were a under a lot of social pressure
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and wanted to fit in with what other people were doing and i think most kids have a pretty profound capacity for empathy. one of the things that happened with alex, and we touch on us a little bit following up with the kids in the book after the film came out, what happened for everyone? one of the incredible things that happened as soon as we showed the film insists the date, 1600 people came out before the film was aired, the principals, everyone came out and after the film some of the kids who it involved with bullying posted on the boley project page on youtube, posting that they were sorry about what they were done and received letters from some of the kids who bullied him. often we think that can happen is kids don't see the entire picture. they may shove someone at the locker on their way to class in the morning but what they don't
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know is that same person was called a name at lunch and knocked over when they got into gym class and tripped in the hall on the way to their other class and it's not often, it's not these big huge acts of violence that are the things that can really wear people down. this is absolutely the case with tyler long who took his own life. it was this constant pervasive presence of the smaller acts and i think that when kids stop and get to have an opportunity to look at the whole picture, to look at the things that they didn't necessarily know what going on, they have a different sense of how their actions may have impacted that person and i think that is where a lot of these stories come in, where
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they can say i was just messing with him. i was just pushing him. they don't know all of the other things that are happening. >> host: one of the i think, scariest aspects of bullying and dealing with bullying is the potential for the solution to be worse than the problem itself. i think you mentioned earlier that kids really are afraid, or reluctant to talk to their parents for fear that they will get in the way and make things worse for that matter, and so, but the solution isn't easy. it's not just to say you are sorry and not just a promise he won't do this again. how do we encourage -- what does it take to turn a school around? >> guest: i think it's really
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hard. i think that there is no one program. i think that there is no silver bullet. as they say, there is no zero-tolerance policy. [inaudible] >> guest: i personally feel that zero-tolerance is enacted without comprehensive commitment to professional development, to working with kids creating peer mentorship opportunities. i think schools sometimes put out that they have the zero-tolerance policy and feel like we have got our bases covered more in the event that you know, maybe they have liability or something like that and they are worried about it but aren't really two in the conference of work. i don't think it's successful unless you do a lot of the hands-on work of educating teachers, educating bus drivers and educating everybody in the building and have the kind of
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leader who can enroll the adults that this is something that is a priority for the school. >> host: we know in situations where you don't have the support of the entire school community, bully prevention programs, whatever they are, will fail. that is one thing that's important, enrollment among all of the adults. and then as that reaches down to the students, i think one of the things that we know is so critical for students and that we know from how they work is that the input of peers can often be more influential than adults or teachers. it can mean more when an upperclassman comes in and is speaking with him about this is the culture we have here and this is how we resolve conflict. someone is spreading a rumor about you and we will work this out and this is something that russell wiseman and haley
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kilpatrick -- >> host: it was girl talk in the book. >> guest: girl talk, the importance of having older girls, people, talk to the younger girls and say you know, we have all gone through this and it's really hard and it's going to happen and we have to find better ways to respond. i think where you can really get the ball rolling among kids, and again getting kids who are confident and you can really start this and can make being kind cooler than being cruel has a lot of influence over the entire school community. and i think the pert -- third piece of the puzzle is getting parents involved. something that was the biggest surprises of the film was when i went to get releases from all
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the parents. every parent of the children about their kids to be in the film and as you can imagine, the commerce stations were really intense, particularly when the parents of the kids who are doing the more severe bullying saw the footage. and their response was not only to let their kids see the film because they wanted them to learn from what they saw and to have the opportunity to see themselves behaving in a way that was really important, they were surprised that they hadn't been engaged by the school to a greater extent about their behaviors. so i think sometimes schools can be hesitant to reach out to parents of kids who are bullying because they know it's like opening a can of worms and they are going to have to deal with parents being defensive, parents being very angry that i think
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for parents to get who get those phonecalls, some of them can be the best phonecall you get in your life because if you don't know this is happening, if you don't know that your sweet little child is getting on the bus and being a tyrant, you never have the opportunity to address the. >> host: it's in that context i think that your book talks about the difference between punishment and discipline. >> guest: yeah, absolutely. it's not about punishing in such a way as to shut down the conversation about how do we develop understanding? how do we develop empathy? how do we take responsibility for our actions and i think that with what the hope is for intervention is affected is that it doesn't only change the life of the person that is being targeted but hopefully it changes the life of the person
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who is perpetrating the behavior. >> host: you know i was interested that there are a number of steps that are laid out in terms of the apology and i think one of the significant points that was made is that it's not about shaming for either the bully or the bullied but it's really more about problem-solving and understanding and a big component here seems to be given out, respect all around the school. how do you make that happen? >> guest: i think a big part of it is really affecting what's going on in our communities. i think again one of the things
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we notice in schools is that where there is a lot of hierarchy among the adults, you're likely to find a similar five among the kids and i think that when it comes to respecting all members of our community, i think that really happens in a lot of places. it doesn't only happen in schools. it happens on line, it happens in the media, it happens in the ways in which we see other families treating each other, treating our neighbors and i think that we have to really look at what are the kinds of things that we are modeling? you mentioned before that there has been a lot of bullying awareness and a lot of targeting of kids here in new york city.
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one of the very early film shoots we did was around a day where they were raising awareness about the bullying they were experiencing, and largely it was a lot of the racism and the attacks that we were seeing in the wake of 9/11 and the muslim kids were being targeted. the sikh kids and the muslim kids were being targeted and that was a real reflection of what was going on nationally in our culture and in our consciousness and communities where people know longer felt safe. so it is a big picture and i think that is why it's a tough nut to crack. >> host: it sure is. what i'm hearing you say is that this is about creating a school climate that is safe for all
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kids, that all the kids and the adults in the school, at whatever level they are working, report of the solution and you can't just dismiss this as kids will be kids you know, or toughen up. this is really about fundamental dignity and it's about unfortunately, it's about life and death with some kids. i think the ways -- far too many young people are losing their lives to bullying by suicide has been a wake-up call to all of us. your book and the movie have a lot of resources in them. do you want to tell us about your web site and some resources that are available in addition to the movie that has done important litigation around
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these issues and advocacy? what is your web site. >> guest: the web site is www.the bully project.com and we have done a lot of work since the book came out and even before the book came out to build broad partnerships and coalitions that have been able to launch several different programs to provide guides that go along with the film and provide opportunities to get involved with the film and the social action campaign. >> host: people can get the book on line? your web site again is? >> guest: the bully project.com. and it's available on amazon. >> host: that's great, so amazon or the book project.com. this has been quite interesting and i want to congratulate you and thank you on behalf of all parents and kids are the contribution you have made to the well-being

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